5 Common Household Products That Pollute Your Home’s Air
There is very little that you can do about the quality of the outdoor air in Murrieta, CA. When you are home, however, you are in control. There are several strategies that you can combine in order to achieve the healthiest air quality possible. Our team at We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air specializes in cleaning indoor air. Here are five common household products that have a negative impact on your home’s indoor air quality:
1. Aerosol Sprays
Aerosol sprays have been under fire for several years because studies show that they contribute to outdoor pollution. When researchers started to study the ozone layer, they discovered that part of the issue was aerosol sprays. Newer studies have also discovered that they have a negative impact on indoor air quality, too.
Indoor air quality is impacted by bacteria and other pollutants that are considered to be alive. Bacteria and spores have the ability to land on a surface and grow under the right conditions. Your home’s indoor air quality is also impacted by VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. VOCs are everywhere, indoors and outdoors. You cannot get away from them. They are more dangerous indoors because they have the opportunity to sit in an enclosed space for an extended period of time. A known producer of VOCs is paint.
This is why individuals are encouraged to only purchase enough paint to complete a DIY project and not more. If you do not have to dispose of extra paint, you are helping the environment. Plus, you are not tempted to store it because you bought it. While paint is stored, it builds up the VOCs, so when you open it, you get a good whiff of the fumes. Aerosol sprays follow the same logic. Since they are chemicals being sprayed from a tightly sealed canister, they have built up VOCs. Then, when you release them into your home, you get a good chunk of them inside.
Air fresheners fall into the aerosol spray category. So, if you enjoy scenting your home, you are encouraged to find an alternative.
2. Cleaning Products
Most people know that cleaning products contain several chemicals. It is the chemicals that help them lift stains and loosen up grease as well as other embedded dirt. When you clean your home, therefore, you are encouraged to open a window. You are also advised to shift to household cleaning products that contain fewer chemicals.
There are several recipes available online that help you mix your own cleaning products. These can be just as effective as the ones that have several chemicals. This way, you can be sure that you are still cleaning your home effectively but not negatively impacting your home’s indoor air quality.
Candles are household products that are known to have an impact on the indoor air quality of your home. While their scent is pleasant, they release particulate matter that can cause the lungs to become inflamed. Keep in mind that the issue is burning candles in an enclosed space. Some environmentalists would probably urge the general public to stop burning candles because they have an impact on outdoor air quality. The difference is that the particulate matter can disperse in the air and into the hemisphere. This is not the case in your home.
In your home, if you do not have a window open, you are going to breathe in the particulate matter, and this is dangerous. Individuals who suffer from respiratory issues are more likely to feel the impact of VOCs, indoor pollutants and other allergens.
If you work in an office environment or from home, you have probably worked with a printer. When you stand next to the printer while your copies or prints are coming out of the machine, that fresh smell is actually having an impact on your indoor air quality. You are not encouraged to breathe in the smell because it is hazardous to your health. In extremely small doses every once in a while, it is not too bad. If you are constantly printing and copying, or you work at a print and copy shop, however, you are continually inhaling a substance that is hazardous to your health.
Cooking is an activity that produces VOCs, and the main source is the stove. The smoke that is produced while you are making your meal is hazardous. This is why you are encouraged to open a window while you are cooking. Gas stoves use a flame to heat up your meal. That flame contains nitrogen oxide emissions. The act of cooking also produces particles. If your stove includes overhead fans, you are encouraged to use them while you are cooking. The fans suck up the smoke and gasses. This prevents you from breathing in the majority of the matter.
Even when it is cold outside, professionals advise you to crack open a window. Opening the window accomplishes several things. It prevents the smoke from becoming trapped in your kitchen and then spreading to the rest of your house. Fresh air from the outside will come into your kitchen as the cooking smoke and gas escape to the outside. Additionally, it improves circulation. Anything else that may be hanging out in your kitchen is prevented from resting on your surfaces.
Researchers and other professionals who spend time studying the creation of VOCs and other pollutants that have a negative impact on your indoor air quality agree that it is impossible to escape VOCs and pollutants entirely. What you can do is limit your exposure to them. The paint example is the best way to illustrate how to limit exposure. If you only purchase what you need, you are not going to store the leftover that is going to sit and produce more VOCs. Since you are not dumping it out, you are also not going to have a negative impact on the environment.
If you are not sure if your air quality is healthy, you can assess yourself and how you feel when you are inside your home. The short-term effects of indoor air pollution include irritation of the eyes, nose and throat as well as headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. These are symptoms that individuals who suffer from respiratory issues experience during times of the year that trigger seasonal allergies. Individuals who are more prone to allergies or asthma should be more mindful of the quality of the indoor air they are breathing on a daily basis. This is especially true when they are sleeping.
The long-term effects of indoor air pollution can lead to chronic and lifelong consequences such as cancer, heart disease and respiratory issues. Those who may have been exposed to something hazardous from the air in their home should speak with a medical professional.